Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Decor’

Just for the sake of randomness, I thought I’d share some of my favorite holiday things with you today.

Let me start with actual things in my home that make me smile or warm my heart.

This homely and somewhat bedraggled little pinecone elf was one of the decorations my parents bought when they celebrated their first Christmas together way back in 1950. He has seen a lot of Christmases come and go. Apparently there used to be three of them and this one is all that survived the childhood of my brother’s and sister.

This is Chet and Leroy. My uncle made them for us way back in our days of early marriage poverty when we didn’t have much in the way of holiday decorations. I love them simply because someone who loves us made them.

I realize there are more than a few things in this cupboard, but nearly every single item in there was purchased for me as a gift at some point by Captain Cavedweller and I love it all.

Particularly this poinsettia teapot. It reminds me of my Grandma and if I stare at it too long, it causes me to get a bit nostalgic.

This blanket is another of my favorite things. My Captain bought it for me a few years ago – it is  a Pendleton blanket, but it has a definite vintage look and feel.

Meet Billy and Nana. We found these cute reindeer at a cheese factory where one of us had insisted on stopping for ice cream and refused to go any further down the road until a cone was purchased. Shame on that husband of mine! Anyway, as we were checking out, I spied these and had to have them. I needed them even more than the ice cream. They are made of real goat fur and are just so sweet. Especially Billy. I love his little face so.

The Lost Lamb makes my heart hurt and smile at the same time. It brings to mind the verses in Luke 15 about the lost lamb and reminds me that no matter how lost one might be, Our Shepherd is always ready to welcome us with open arms.

Tartan plaid ribbon speaks to me of holiday tradition. Just seeing it takes me back to holidays of my childhood. I wish I had purchased 15 rolls of this ribbon instead of just one when I found it.

My sister, who passed away six years ago, painted these for Captain Cavedweller and me the last Christmas she was able to make gifts. Looking at them makes me weepy and wistful. She wasn’t able to do a lot of things, but she was really good at art.

This little birdie is my newest decoration. Don’t ask why I had to have it, but I love the way she seems to be saying “Come here, I’ve got something to tell you!”

Here are links to a few of my favorite things to eat that I know I shouldn’t during the holiday season:

Nut Goodie Bars

Sugar Cookies

Gingerbread Bars – I have literally become addicted to these in the last few weeks. They are so, so yummy!

My favorite Christmas music tends to dance on the side of traditional. I love White Christmas, but only if sung by Bing Crosby.  Johnny Mathis must sing It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and of course Nat King Cole must sing The Christmas Song, although John Michael Montgomery’s rendition is one I will definitely stop and listen to as well.

Other favorites not in any particular order:

Mary Did You Know – Kathy Mattea

No Room – Rhett Akins

One Bright Star – Vince Gill

Ding, Dong Merrily on High – Julie Andrews

Home for the Holidays – Garth Brooks

It doesn’t matter who sings it, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and I’ll Be Home for Christmas always makes my eyes water. Can’t tell you why. That’s just the way it is.

I love getting Christmas cards in the mail – especially ones that have a little note attached that said the person took a minute to at least pay attention to whom the card was being addressed and send a genuine greeting. That really means so much. I know it is easy to turn the cards into another assembly line project, but even a word or two that is personal makes all the difference.

Okay, to wrap up this crazy list are my favorite scents of the season – the smell of fresh cut pine, the crisp scent in the air right after a soft snowfall, the spicy tang of mulled cider and Silver Bells candles which no one makes any more – so I’m rationing the last few that I have. Most of all I love the scent that clings to the contents of a box of old decorations in my parent’s basement. The ancient bayberry and pine smell brings back every lovely and pleasant memory I have of my childhood holidays. I wish someone could find a way to put that in a bottle. I’d buy 100.

She Who Is Way Too Nostalgic These Days

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Just before Thanksgiving, I received an email from a representative of the Wrigley Jr. Company. You know Wrigley, as in the company that makes all that wonderful gum. As in the company that makes Big Red, which I can’t go a day without having at least two pieces.

Anyway, I was asked if I would be interested in receiving a box of their product and doing some kind of fun food art with it. No compensation, other than the box of goodies,  is involved in this – it is all voluntary.

So of course I said yes. I’m a little crazy that way.

When the box arrived a few days later, I first pulled out the letter:

Then I quickly got sidetracked by the box full of sweet treats.

There were Starbursts, Skittles, rolls of Life Savers, Life Saver Gummies, Altoids mints and gum. Lots and lots of gum from 5 Vortex to Orbit Bubblemint.

My head started spinning with ideas. What to do with all these fun things? The first thought I had was to make a tree out of the 5 Vortex gum.

But the tree needed something to go with it.

So I decided to make a gingerbread house using the rest of the goodies.

And being short on time with 36 projects going on at the same time, I cheated and bought a gingerbread kit.

Sometimes cheating is a good thing. This kit comes with a gingerbread house and a frosting mix that serves as glue to hold everything together. It also had candy, but I set it aside, instead focusing on the candies sent by Wrigley. Captain Cavedweller found me a piece of wood to use and I wrapped the whole thing in foil to serve as a base for the project.

The kit directions were easy to follow. If I can put it together, anyone can. Just mix up the frosting, fill the included decorator bag and go to town.

Once I got the roof stuck on, I added fruit Life Savers for windows, two sticks of Big Red for the door and then chopped Life Saver Gummies in half and marched across the top of the roof.

The two sticks of Big Red that made up the door worked really well. Of course, the W stands for Wrigley!

I used Skittles on the roof. Here you can see the beginning of the picket fence, made from Extra Smooth Mint gum.

I cut the sticks of gum in half then cut a triangle at each end. I also cut a few of the halves into thin long pieces. These little sections would become the cross pieces between the pickets.

The finished fence looked pretty good, if I say so myself. I used the frosting to glue the cross pieces to the pickets.

I made gum bushes by using the 5 Vortex gum. I cut each piece in half then, using kitchen shears, cut thin strips not quite to the end of the piece. I wrapped the piece around itself and then fanned out the cut pieces.

Which resulted in these cute little gum bushes.

I used three packages of the 5 Vortex gum to create the tree and bushes.

Again, cut the gum sticks in half, then cut the halves into triangles. These will become the tree branches.

Use frosting to glue gum to a styrofoam cone. I used one about six inches tall. Just layer the triangle pieces around the cone, starting at the base and working your way to the top.

Stand a triangle upright to make the top of the tree.

Of course, a tree needs some packages.

Starbursts were the perfect size for presents. I sliced a piece of Big Red Gum lengthwise into four strips to make the ribbon and bow.

Get the gum wet before you try to work with it. It makes it much more pliable. And sticky. Very sticky.

Wrap the gum around the package like a ribbon. Do one on each side.

Make a bow out of the gum by folding one of the long strips. Attach it to the top of the package with a drop of frosting.

Then place beneath the tree.

Although I failed to take photos of it, we (we being Captain Cavedweller) placed Skittles around for a sidewalk and pathway.

As a final touch, I made a little sled to sit on a pile of snow in the yard using a stick of Big Red and a stick of 5 Vortex. Again, get them wet to make them easier to work with.

I used about 3/4 of the length of the Big Red and the full length of the 5 Vortex. Just press together. They stick well when they are damp.

A finished view from the top.

And the finished project, which took about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

I think my favorite part of the whole thing is the tree. Probably because I spent the most time working on it!

So to make this you need:

a board to set it on

1 styrofoam cone

a gingerbread house (I  highly recommend the kit!)

3 packages 5 Vortex Gum

1 package Extra Smooth Mint Gum

5 sticks Big Red Gum

1 package Life Savers Gummies

1 roll 5 flavor Live Savers

1 family sized bag Skittles

1 package Starbursts

She Who Likes Wrigley Gum

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